Q: When Did You Fall in Love With Hip Hop and What Created The Passion to Become A Mc Better Yet A Wordsmith?
Fatal Da Cannon: I fell in love with Hip-Hop in 1997 when I first saw “Wu-Tang Clan: The Triumph” official music video air on “BET: Rap City.” I was always intrigued and enthused by the Hip-Hop culture in terms of the music, the slang, the look/fashion and the attitude but the moment I saw that video in its entirety, I knew I was in love w/ Hip-Hop.
Q: Being Famous or Relevant Which Would Be Your Choice And Why?
Fatal Da Cannon: To be relevant would be my clear choice, easy answer. A measurement of the power a person withholds is strongly related to how relevant they are to their respected audience. In general, no one wants to listen to you or even cares to hear what you say if you (or your opinion) is not relevant to them in the first place. Relevancy holds matter. Also, in today’s world it’s possible to be famous but still not be relevant. To be famous is to be widely known whereas to be relevant is to be heavily respected as a person and/or in opinion. Yea, I would choose to be relevant.
Q: Give Us A Look into your upbringing and The Trials and Tribulations That Clearly Define Who Fatal Da Cannon Is….
Fatal Da Cannon: My upbringing began in my birth place of Cambridge, MD in August 1989. I was born to the mother of Wendy S. Bowens and my late father Terrance L. Keene, Sr.. Shortly after my birth in January 1990, my father was shot and killed in the Greenwood Avenue Housing Projects in Cambridge. As a single-parent mother, my Mom worked hard mentally and physically as she would eventually obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education before later completing her Master’s Program. Through it all, it was definitely tough at times. The absence of my father put me in situations where I was primarily being raised by women. “Strong, black women” in every sense of its meaning but nonetheless, still women. Eventually it got to a point where I knew I had to look elsewhere in regards to learning how to be a man because they as women, could not teach me such for the simple fact that they are not men. That’s where Hip-Hop or more so “rapping” came into play in my life in a major way. It served as a way for me to express myself and things that were on my mind that at such a young age I couldn’t really understand but if nothing else I could vent. My Mom was always hands on when it came to academics with me even as a child so by the time I was in Pre-K I could write my name and was always writing or doing something with pen and paper. Hip-Hop/Rap has been a heavy part of my life since Day 1 credit to my older cousins “Tweak & Jerm,” so by the time I was of age to actually read and write thoroughly I always found time to write raps which again, was really just a way for me to express myself. My Philadelphia influence is credited to my time(s) spent in West Philadelphia ranging back from as early as three years old to this present day. Philly was my escape from “being sheltered” in a sense as most of my time in Maryland I was under a strict watch because that’s just how my Mother was/is. When I went to Philly it was a sense of freedom. “Ma Bun” (my Aunt who I visited/lived with in Philly some time after college) allowed me more lead way. By the time I was 12 I could navigate the whole Philly via Septa. Things that I was seeing/being exposed to in that environment made me grow up fast mentally, same time elevated my craft to levels unimaginable. It gave me my raw, gritty edge to my subtle, humble approach. Mix it altogether…Fatal Da Cannon.
Q: As A College Educated Black Man Who Has Seen The Downside of Street Life Witnessed Through Young Eyes How Do They Compliment each other in your music?
Fatal Da Cannon: My whole being or existence in Hip-Hop is the “Hood Scholar,” which originates from my upbringing and things that I’ve seen in my neighborhoods, whether good or bad as the “Hood” side of the equation. The insights, diversity, knowledge and logic that I gained from attending and graduating college fulfill the “Scholar” side. I would say they complement each other undeniably but before they complement each other, they correlate a formula that paves my lane and creates a foundation for myself in this culture.
Q: Name 5 Mainstream Artists Past and Present You Would Love To Work With And Why…..
Fatal Da Cannon:
– Wu-Tang Clan – My Favorite Rap Group Ever– 2Pac – His intelligence, knowledge and beliefs are something I feel as though I would gain/benefit from even outside of the craft.– Nipsey Hu$$le – Easily my favorite rapper of the modern era. Same respect in terms of intelligence, beliefs and knowledge as 2Pac but also a self-made force in Corporate America which is something I also aspire to be.– J.Cole – My closest friends/peers and even some fans have told me I remind them of a J.Cole. Most commonly compared to in regards to intellect, substance, wordplay and things of that nature. Outside of that, I honestly think Cole is one of the dopest of his generation and undoubtedly a top-tier lyricist/poet.– NaS – NaS’s “Illmatic” was the first album I ever had and it was on a cassette tape. Scratch that, it was my older cousin Jerm’s and I stole it…lol. To this day, that’s still an album that I play in regular rotation. The inspiration/motivation I get when I hear “NY State of Mind” or “Represent” or “Nas Is Like…” is still something that’s rarely matched by any other project or collection of songs to this day. It would be an honor and a personal accolade to be on track with a true pioneer of the culture.
Q: You Have Been in The Music Game For a Minute Now So it’s Safe To Say You Are A Seasoned Veteran …..Give A Jewel To The Next Generation Of Mc’s That You’ve Used To Elevate Your Music Career….
Fatal Da Cannon: I’ve grown to understand that you have to take the good days w/ the bad days. It’s times when everything will be moving and flowing exactly how you planned if not better just like it’ll be stretches where you have to show a level of perseverance, discipline, passion and heart. That could be physically, financially, spiritually, socially, etc. The secret to “winning” no matter the circumstances is to always trust your heart, believe in you and KEEP GOING. I emphasize “KEEP GOING” because I’ve learned that all wins just as well as all losses are temporary. Don’t get too excited about the wins that you become “satisfied/content” and don’t be too upset by the losses that you feel “defeated/discouraged.” Take them all as Messina whether they be “wins” or “losses” and use them to keep moving forward through anything and everything.
Q: Where Has Music Taken You That You Never Imagined it Would?
Fatal Da Cannon: I wouldn’t say it’s taken me to places that I never imagined it would but I’ll say it’s given me opportunities and put me on platforms to have a substantial voice that can be heard as well as a message that can be received. From radio station appearances to podcasts, live performances, pop-ups/walk-throughs, community events, etc. it’s given me purpose which to me is the meaning of life. Music has given me purpose.